It has been brutally apparent that The Mars Volta’s albums are complex beyond the surface of textured, lengthy sonic mutations. Partly responsible for this depth of character, Omar RodrÃguez-López has yet again trekked off to solo work (the fourth time this year!) with the onset of Xenophanes, a release of entirely Spanish-spoken lyrics with a very layered storyline. Hot off the heels of The Mars Volta’s highly praised Octahedron, Lopez is said to now have embarked on a journey of rebirth and sophomoric souls, reports Jambase:
A conceptual journey through life, death, and re-birth, the album tells the story of a selfish and judgmental female caseworker who falls in love with a male client, only for him to die soon thereafter. Over the course of eleven subsequent lifetimes, the woman experiences life from every conceivable vantage point as her soul evolves, thereby allowing the maturity and eventual letting-go of her ego which in turn enables the realization that the man was, and always has been, her father spirit.
You have heard me speak multiple times on the topic of concept albums and their current supersaturation of the market. Though in most instances one would see this as part of said trend, I find it merely a continuation of Lopez’s strict adherence to storytelling, a clear example being the man’s work with his primary band. This is his calling and unlike some who try to exploit the concept album (I’m looking at you, My Chemical Romance), Lopez and company regularly use it as a sincere plot device.
With the upcoming Xenophanes in September, there shall be much rejoicing as those who do not speak Spanish can still enjoy the eclectic sheen that is Omar Rodriguez-Lopez.